Itchy skin is common in dogs and may be caused by a variety of reasons; some of the causes may require veterinary intervention, while others can be easily addressed at home. Itchiness associated with allergies often only causes discomfort and often responds well to home remedies.
Is your dog’s itchy skin a serious cause for concern?
If the itchy skin is a chronic condition and is accompanied by other symptoms, such as restlessness, poor appetite, or a foul smell, and especially if the itching causes vigorous scratching which leads to cuts and bleeding, you should have your pet checked by a vet.
There may be a more serious underlying condition that will require treatment with medication. Getting him proper and timely treatment will also prevent the development of secondary infections.
If Fido experiences only mild or occasional itching, it’s usually not a serious health problem and you can give him relief with easy, safe, and effective home remedies.
Home Remedies for Itchy Dog Skin
Aloe vera works as well for your dog’s itchy skin as it does for humans. If you have an aloe vera plant, just cut a small piece, and apply the gel directly to the affected area/s. You can also place the aloe vera in the freezer for a few minutes to enhance its soothing effects. Just make sure it doesn’t freeze or is not ice-cold, as applying something too cold to irritated skin may cause further irritation.
You can also find all-natural aloe vera gel in most grocery and drug stores. Check the product label and do not get a product that contains alcohol, or you might end up burning your dog’s already sensitive and irritated skin.
Oatmeal has natural soothing properties. Applying oatmeal to your dog’s itchy skin will reduce redness and itching, and get rid of the allergens that may be trapped in his fur.
Simply prepare the colloidal oatmeal mixture according to the product instructions and coat the affected areas or your dog’s entire body with a layer of oatmeal. Leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes and then wipe or rinse it off with cool water.
You can also use plain, sugar-free oatmeal by grinding it into a powder first. Using regular oatmeal as it is, i.e., without grinding it into powder, also works, although it is harder to apply to the skin.
Chamomile and Green Tea
The soothing and anti-inflammatory properties of these teas also work when applied directly to the skin. Steep the tea as you normally would, let it cool, and then use it as a spot treatment. Or prepare a tea bath by soaking several bags in the water in your bathtub or sink. Let your pet have a relaxing soak for at least five minutes; he’ll also definitely love it if you massage his skin.
You can rinse him off with cool water after, or just dry him with a towel immediately after.
Get high-quality, virgin coconut oil, as much as possible; if you can afford it, buy unrefined and organic. Coconut oil has natural antimicrobial and soothing properties that can give your pet pal relief from the itchiness and irritation, and also protect his skin against infection.
Simply massage the oil into the affected area/s; you may have to rinse it off after leaving it on for 15 minutes or so if you want to prevent your dog from licking the oil. Ingesting coconut oil may be bad for his heart health, so you may also want to consult your veterinarian before using coconut oil as a topical treatment. Of course, if you can make sure that your canine will not lick his oiled skin, then it should be safe enough to use.
You can use baking soda paste as a spot treatment, or add baking soda to your dog’s bath. Baking soda will help relieve itching, reduce redness, and dry out rashes.
Make a paste by mixing equal parts baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the affected area/s, leave it on for about 20 minutes, and then rinse. You can also add some coconut oil to the paste to give it a moisturizing component.
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is not just a popular ingredient for salad dressings, but also as an effective home remedy for many ailments. This vinegar has potent antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it will effectively prevent any secondary infections. The acid content will also get rid of the skin irritants causing your dog’s itchiness.
Make sure to dilute the ACV with water; make a solution of equal parts ACV and water in a spray bottle. Spray the itchy areas; there’s no need to rinse it off. For itchy paws, you can use the solution as a soothing bath. Soak Fido’s paws for 5 minutes, and then pat them dry.
If your pal’s skin is raw or has an open wound, do NOT use ACV to treat it.
Cannabidiol oil (CBD oil) has potent anti-inflammatory properties. You can use it as a spot treatment to reduce Fido’s skin inflammation and itchiness. Make sure to use a hemp-derived CBD oil product made for pets, as this will not contain THC or only trace amounts of THC — which is toxic to animals. If your pet pal licks the oil, there’s no need to worry because hemp-derived CBD is not only safe for pets but also offers many health benefits.
The calming effects of CBD oil, when ingested, may also prove helpful if your dog’s skin condition causes him to become anxious and restless.
For mild or occasional itching, you can try these safe and natural home remedies to give your pet pal some relief. If the condition is chronic, causes cuts and bleeding from vigorous scratching and chewing, or is accompanied by other symptoms, take him to your veterinarian to receive proper and immediate treatment.